Living on the Black: Two Pitchers, Two Teams, One Season to Remember

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Overview

Pitchers are at the heart of baseball. Each has the potential to make his team a winner or, very quickly, a loser. The pressure is huge. In the end, only those with both the arm and the heart and the ability to manage extraordinary stress will emerge as champions.

John Feinstein looks into this complex side of the game through the events of one nerve-racking season and through the eyes of two great pitchers trying to perform at the highest possible level in the twilight of their careers in the biggest media ...

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Living on the Black: Two Pitchers, Two Teams, One Season to Remember

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Overview

Pitchers are at the heart of baseball. Each has the potential to make his team a winner or, very quickly, a loser. The pressure is huge. In the end, only those with both the arm and the heart and the ability to manage extraordinary stress will emerge as champions.

John Feinstein looks into this complex side of the game through the events of one nerve-racking season and through the eyes of two great pitchers trying to perform at the highest possible level in the twilight of their careers in the biggest media fishbowl in America. Tom Glavine and Mike Mussina have seen it all in the Major Leagues, remarkable highs and heartbreaking lows. Both entered the 2007 season in search of individual milestones and one more shot at the World Series--Glavine with the Mets, Mussina a few miles and one borough away with the Yankees. Despite their proximity, they experienced very different seasons--one pitching for a team dealing with the pressure of trying to qualify for the World Series for the first time in seven years; the other with a legendary team, expected to be there every year.

Feinstein captures the rollercoaster that was the 2007 season for both teams through the experiences of two pitchers at the center of it all. John Feinstein provides a true insider's look into the most intensely watched and scrutinized position in sports-Major League starting pitcher.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
Good pitchers avoid the heart of the plate; great pitchers "live on the black," their deliveries slicing over the black rubber borders of home plate. In this sharply executed effort, bestselling author John Feinstein tracks two top-flight veteran hurlers through the 2007 season: New York Mets left-hander Tom Glavine and Yankees right-hander Mike Mussina. A superb effort by the author The Sporting News calls "sports writing's John Grisham."
Publishers Weekly
Though the season-long profile-in which a sportswriter follows a player, team or coach through a single season-grows increasingly familiar, this entry from Feinstein, one of the genre's pioneers (Next Man Up: A Year Behind the Lines in Today's NFL; The Punch: One Night, Two Lives, and the Fight That Changed Basketball Forever), delivers rare insight into the minds of two of baseball's most cerebral (and successful) pitchers. Veteran sportswriter Feinstein follows the Yankees' Mike Mussina and the Mets' Tom Glavine during the 2007 season, as they pursue personal milestones and try to pitch their teams back into the postseason. Although they each reach some of their goals (Mussina to 250 wins, Glavine 300), neither team reaches its ultimate goal. The main narrative, of personal and team struggle, is compelling, but the true enjoyment of books like these are in the details, and Feinstein does not disappoint. Not only does he exhaustively chronicle the season on-field, he reveals tidbits of inside ball that even hardcore fans will find enlightening: Who knew that Mussina's best friend on the Yankees is the bullpen catcher, Mike Borzello, or that Glavine helped avert a likely player strike after the 2003 season? This smart season tour makes a treat for both casual and die-had fans.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Library Journal

Sportswriter Feinstein follows star pitchers Tom Glavine (Mets) and Mike Mussina (Yankees) through their 2007 seasons.

Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Bob D'Angelo
An absorbing read.
Feinstein takes a pair of opinionated veterans and picks their brains all season about the art of pitching, also relying on the thoughts of teammates,
coaches, managers and families to present well-rounded, intimate portraits....What makes the book so engaging is that each pitcher faced adversity during the season, creating unexpected drama that helped give an edge to Feinstein's narrative....Another excellent story, told by one of sports' best storytellers.
Tampa Tribune
Booklist
As always, Feinstein guides readers into a world with which fans have only surface familiarity, revealing in the process multiple substrata of nuance and meaning. Baseball fans who read this wonderful book will come away with a deeper understanding of the game in addition to having encountered a pair of fascinating men who just happen to play a game for a living.
David Hinckley
When Feinstein gets [Glavine and Mussina] talking about the art of pitching, the book comes alive.
New York Daily News
Larry King
One of the best sportswriters alive.
USA Today
From the Publisher
"An absorbing read.
Feinstein takes a pair of opinionated veterans and picks their brains all season about the art of pitching, also relying on the thoughts of teammates,
coaches, managers and families to present well-rounded, intimate portraits....What makes the book so engaging is that each pitcher faced adversity during the season, creating unexpected drama that helped give an edge to Feinstein's narrative....Another excellent story, told by one of sports' best storytellers."—Bob D'Angelo, Tampa Tribune

PRAISE FOR AMERICA'S FAVORITE SPORTSWRITER:

"Feinstein is the most successful sportswriter in America....He has the girt of re-creating events known to us all while infusing them with excitement, even suspense."—Jay Nordlinger, Wall Street Journal

"As always, Feinstein guides readers into a world with which fans have only surface familiarity, revealing in the process multiple substrata of nuance and meaning. Baseball fans who read this wonderful book will come away with a deeper understanding of the game in addition to having encountered a pair of fascinating men who just happen to play a game for a living."—Booklist (starred review)

PRAISE FOR LIVING ON THE BLACK:


"Feinstein achieves a double play fans should savor for its scrupulous look at what life is like for the 21st-century major leaguer."—Erik Spanberg, Christian Science Monitor

"When Feinstein gets [Glavine and Mussina] talking about the art of pitching, the book comes alive."—David Hinckley, New York Daily News

"One of the best sportswriters alive."—Larry King, USA Today

Booklist (starred review)
"As always, Feinstein guides readers into a world with which fans have only surface familiarity, revealing in the process multiple substrata of nuance and meaning. Baseball fans who read this wonderful book will come away with a deeper understanding of the game in addition to having encountered a pair of fascinating men who just happen to play a game for a living."
Erik Spanberg - Christian Science Monitor
PRAISE FOR LIVING ON THE BLACK:


"Feinstein achieves a double play fans should savor for its scrupulous look at what life is like for the 21st-century major leaguer."
Bob D'Angelo - Tampa Tribune
"An absorbing read.
Feinstein takes a pair of opinionated veterans and picks their brains all season about the art of pitching, also relying on the thoughts of teammates,
coaches, managers and families to present well-rounded, intimate portraits....What makes the book so engaging is that each pitcher faced adversity during the season, creating unexpected drama that helped give an edge to Feinstein's narrative....Another excellent story, told by one of sports' best storytellers."
Jay Nordlinger - Wall Street Journal
PRAISE FOR AMERICA'S FAVORITE SPORTSWRITER:

"Feinstein is the most successful sportswriter in America....He has the girt of re-creating events known to us all while infusing them with excitement, even suspense."

David Hinckley - New York Daily News
"When Feinstein gets [Glavine and Mussina] talking about the art of pitching, the book comes alive."
Larry King - USA Today
"One of the best sportswriters alive."
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780316113915
  • Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
  • Publication date: 5/1/2008
  • Pages: 544
  • Product dimensions: 6.40 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 1.80 (d)

Meet the Author

John Feinstein is the bestselling author of Tales from Q School, Last Dance, Next Man Up, Let Me Tell You a Story (with Red Auerbach), Caddy for Life, Open, The Punch, The Last Amateurs, The Majors, A Good Walk Spoiled, A Civil War, A Season on the Brink, Play Ball, Hard Courts, and three sports mystery novels for young readers. He writes for The Washington Post, Washington Post.com, and Golf Digest, and is a regular commentator on National Public Radio's "Morning Edition."

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
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